Domenico Scala, FIFA’s compliance chairman, sent in his resignation as a sign of protest. The resignation comes after FIFA changed president Gianni Infantino and his council’s authority on independent overseers.
Under FIFA’s new rule, Infantino’s council has the power to summarily dismiss and appoint members of independent committees. Scala sees it as a form of “power grab.” The move is seemingly linked to the two high officials’ squabble over the president’s salary.
According to the new FIFA’s pledge, the president’s salary will be less than what former president Sepp Blatter’s. The pledge also indicated the Secretary General will have the highest salary.
Former anti-corruption FIFA adviser Mark Pieth detailed the new appointment process in USA Today. According to him, it gives Infantino’s council the power to appoint officials. These officials may be selected based on who will easily agree to the council’s demands. In effect, this new process undermines the independence of the oversight committees.
Regarding the new rule, The Guardian quotes Scala saying ” I am consternated about this decision, because it undermines a central pillar of the good governance of FIFA and it destroys a substantial achievement of the reforms.”
Furthermore, Domenico Scala proclaimed his resignation as a “wake up call” for the other FIFA independent committees.
FIFA has released a statement saying it regrets Scala’s decision. FIFA made it clear the new ruling will only allow them to swiftly remove officials who have committed a breach in their authority. They also mentioned that the appointments will only last for the interim.
Meanwhile, FIFA president Gianni Infantino has cautioned critics against hasty judgement of their new rules.
“Those that are making the comments have not really understood what we are doing. The judgments need to be made by the quality of the members which are sitting on these boards rather than by making speculations or putting intentions in the minds of people which are far from the reality,” Infantino said in a statement to USA Today.